The XXVI Compasso d’Oro awards Chakra by Universal Selecta (Design for Work category), a comfort island designed by Eugenio Pasta that stands out among the Office Pod proposals – a recent type of hybrid product, between furniture and interior architecture – for its innovative features, among which acoustics play a major role.
Eng. Ezio Rendina, founder of V.I.V.A. Consulting, has in fact collaborated on the project since its initial phase, providing unprecedented technical solutions so that “the inner sound” -Chakra’s claim- really was the starting point suggesting answers for design, formal and constructive aspects.
The Chakra philosophy is well summarized in the evocative claim “the inner sound” (conceived by the anthropologist Gabriele Masi) which refers to the ability to create a harmonic “inner sound” as opposed to the external noise of the world.
To create harmony comfort and wellbeing in the environment is its main goal.
To achieve this result, Chakra system is the fruit of design research and experimentation, covered by 5 patents, and, as an absolute first, is fitted with a particular acoustic device: the sound diffractor which allows to improve the acoustic insulation even in the version with completely open sky.
In addition to this specific element, all the acoustic performances are excellent.
The peculiar structural system of the door module allows the best soundproofing performances, which increase depending on the installation of a top cover together with the use of insulating materials.
The first obtained results show values of soundproofing on site (R’w) between 40 and 45 dB, depending on the materials used in the composition of the module that has been analysed.
Acoustic comfort is guaranteed in Chakra configurations both with a closed false ceiling, and with the open top. The latter can be equipped with a acoustic diffractor specifically designed to avoid acoustic contamination of the internal or external volume.
Chakra responds to the most different needs, simply by selecting and composing the most suitable accessories or adding them later in time if needs should ever change.
High performance air recirculation systems ensure people permanence inside Chakra during individual or collective activities, guaranteeing environmental and acoustic comfort.
What is the sound diffractor and how does it work?
Ezio Rendina explains that the idea came from the noise barriers used in Japan in the 1970s.
“The solution adopted takes advantage by the sound pressure accumulates that rises along the sound-reflecting wall of the Office Pod.
When the pressure reaches the top it is blocked by the diffractor, a sort of frame that reduces the passing of the sound wave on the walls of the open Office Pod.
From tests carried out on the same Pod with and without a diffractor, a gain of +5 dB was obtained on the increase in the acoustic insulation produced by this solution”.
Certainly the approach and the design coherence influenced the choice of the Compasso d’Oro jury who awarded Chakra in the Design for Work category with the motivation “Advanced thermal and acoustic protection system, with elegance and transparency that separates without excluding.” which also expresses a particular appreciation for the acoustic performances.